LA’s NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR(r) 2014 competition will have just completed its 8th season, as many of Los Angeles best and brightest competed for
cash, prizes and an opportunity to appear on Broadway.
To date, a combination of 8 Stage Star winners and contestants have since made their off-Broadway and/or Broadway debuts, with 2010 winner Janet Krupin having recently completed making her Broadway debut in the hit musical Bring it On; and 2010 fourth runner up Derek Klena currently starring on Broadway as Fiyero (the young male co-star
and love interest) in the mega hit musical Wicked.
Los Angeles Arts philanthropist and performer Barbara Van Orden
, associated with the event since 2012, serves as Co-Executive Producer and in an interview, she will be featured on the Preferred Company show on March 4.
Van Orden’s highly-publicized return to the stage after the devastating accident that resulted in18 surgeries and years of rehabilitation has been well received by audiences and critics alike.
“Barbara was crossing the street when she was hit by a car that resulted in 12 breaks in her right leg, five breaks in the left, internal bleeding, crushed back, broken ribs, a fractured disc in her neck and a three inch gash in her skull.
After years of therapy and 18 surgeries later, life was still being lived from a hospital room and she had to learn to walk all over again.”
Before the accident she was a leading cover model and represented products such as Leggs, Ford, American Express, Clairol, Breck, Ivory Snow, London Fog,m Donna Karan, Maybelline, Maidenform, Calvin Klein, Wells fargo, Chistian Dior, Neutrogena and much more. A career at the top came to a crash.
She began in the Catskill Mountains at Grossingers Singers Hotel, opening
for many of the greats, such as Milton Berle, Don Rickles and Red
Buttons, to name a few.
She went on to do all of the Playboy Clubs working with talents such as Buddy Hackett, Morey Amsterdam and Soupy Sales.
A move to the West Coast was inevitable, and she assumed a recurring role in television’s
Welcome Back Kotter, shortly adding many TV films and series episodes
to her resume. In between films and series, Barbara opened for many
Vegas headliners. While in Vegas opening for Shecky Green, Frank
Sinatra came to the show.
After the show, she was thrilled when he asked her if she would open
for him in the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
1 – Entering its 8th consecutive year in January, 2014…LAs Next Great
Stage Star(r) is the only musical theatre competition
of its kind on the west coast. From an audition process in
December of each year, 20 musical theatre hopefuls between the ages of
18 to 28 are chosen to compete for six consecutive weeks before a live
voting audience and an overall judging panel of 20 of Los Angeles
primary Broadway musical theater Producers, Directors, Artistic
Directors, Casting Directors, and professional (Equity) agents. By the
end of week six, 5 contestants rise to the top with the winner taking a
$1000 cash prize and placed with the agent of their choice after a
series of post competition agent meetings. The remaining top 4
contestants are also placed with professional agents; as are (on
average) another half dozen contestants who received high scores with
both audiences and judges throughout the competition process.
2. Since its inception, this annual event is more than just a
competition. It is a master class in performance and the expectations
of a professional musical theatre career. Not only do the contestants
receive votes from the audience and judges, but immediate live
constructive feedback from each member of the judging panel.
3. LAs Next Great Stage Star(r) was created by Michael Sterling and
Monsour and produced by Sterling as well as former fashion model,
BWW story -